The new Kawai Aures Hybrid piano marries the acoustic excellence of the K-300 upright with the technology of Kawai’s Concert Artist digital pianos. This instrument is developed in collaboration with the Japanese up-market consumer electronics company Onkyo (the name means “sound harmony”). The two companies previously collaborated on Kawai’s Novus NV10 Hybrid piano, launched in 2017.
Kawai produces six different models of upright piano*: K15 (entry), K200, K300, K500, K600 and K800 (flagship). This first Aures model has the award-winning K300 as its mainspring.
What is the Aures hybrid piano?
First seen (albeit to invited guests only) at this year’s Frankfurt Musikmesse (April 2018), this instrument derives its name from AUdio and RESonance.
Consider a traditional acoustic piano in block format… the keyboard (input), the action/strings (acoustic sound source), and the soundboard (amplifier).
A hybrid instrument introduces an additional block… a digital sound generator.
So now we have a few more options:
- Play the piano like a normal acoustic instrument.
- Prevent the hammers hitting the strings and feed the keyboard information (what and how you play) to the digital sound generator. This can then be amplified using the soundboard, or headphones (for “silent play”). Traditional loudspeakers aren’t required.
- A mixture of both. Allow the hammers to strike the strings and also feed the keyboard data to the digital sound generator. The latter is again amplified by the soundboard.
The soundboard gives the output from the digital sound generator a greater natural presence. Loudspeakers emanate signal from a point source, whilst a soundboard transmits across its far wider surface.
The K300 Professional upright is a 2015 upgrade to the award-winning Kawai K3 (MMR Magazine’s Acoustic Piano of the Year 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011!)
Key to the appeal of the hybrid instrument is its digital sound generator – the SK-EX Rendering sound engine. And this unit is also employed by Kawai’s CA-98 digital piano. The sampling and resonance modelling technologies generate, amongst other instruments, the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand piano.
A unique full-colour 5” touchscreen display is housed in the instruments bass end-block. It provides direct access to all the piano’s digital parameters. In addition, this control centre can also be used to record player-performances for future recall.
The Kawai K300 Aures’ soundboard has 4 high-performance transducers attached to it. These devices translate the digital output of the sound generator into the vibrations that are amplified by the piano’s tapered solid spruce soundboard.
The Kawai K300 Aures Hybrid digital piano is just starting to appear your local Kawai dealership*. Kawai will also soon release two further hybrids based on the K-500 and K600 uprights.
* some models may not be available in certain countries.
|Kawai K300 Aures Hybrid Piano Specifications|
|Action||Kawai Millenium III, ABS action parts|
|Strings||max length 1230mm|
|Lid/Fallboard||"Soft Fall" mechanism|
|Soundboard||Spruce, tapered; 1.45sq.m|
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||130 x 150 x 62mm.|
|Weight (inc. electronics)||238kg|
|Digital Sound Generator Specifications|
|SOUND SOURCE||Pianist Mode||SK-EX Rendering: 88-key multi-channel piano sampling, 88-key resonance modelling|
|Sound Mode||Harmonic Imaging XL: 88-key piano sampling|
|INTERNAL SOUNDS||Pianist Mode||SK-EX Concert Grand, 10 rendering characters|
|Sound Mode||88 sounds (including 6 Pianos, 8 Elec. Pianos, 24 Organs, 8 Harpsi & Mallets, 8 Strings, + others)|
|KEYBOARD MODES||Dual, Split, 4Hands (Volume/Balance adjustable)|
|POLYPHONY||max. 256 notes (depending on selected sound)|
|EFFECTS||Pianist Mode||Resonance Depth (10 types), Ambience (10 types)|
|Sound Mode||Reverb (6 types), Effects (24 types: Chorus x3, Delay x3, Tremolo x3, Auto pan x2, Phaser x2, Rotary x6, Combination x5)|
|VIRTUAL TECHNICIAN||Pianist Mode||Touch Curve (incl. User), Voicing (incl. User), Damper Noise, Fall-back Noise, Hammer Delay, Minimum Touch, Key Volume (incl. User), Half-Pedal Adjust, Soft Pedal Depth|
|Sound Mode||Touch Curve (incl. User), Voicing (incl. User), Damper Resonance, Damper Noise, String Resonance, Undamped String Resonance, Cabinet Resonance, Key-off Effect, Fall-back Noise, Hammer Delay, Topboard Simulation, Decay Time, Minimum Touch, Stretch Tuning (incl. User), Temperament (incl. User), Temperament Key, Key Volume (incl. User), Half-Pedal Adjust, Soft Pedal Depth|
|Internal Recorder||Pianist Mode||3 song recorder (approximately 10 min. per song)|
|Sound Mode||10 song, 2 track recorder (approximately 90,000 note memory capacity)|
|USB Recorder||Playback||MP3, WAV, SMF, KSO (internal song file)|
|Record||MP3, WAV, Save as SMF/KSO, Line In & Bluetooth Audio Recording|
|Metronome||1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, 3/8, 6/8, 7/8, 9/8, 12/8 + 100 drum rhythms|
|Internal Songs||Demo Songs||39 songs|
|Piano Music||29 or 42 songs (depending on territory)|
|Concert Magic||88 songs|
|Lesson Books||584 Songs from Alfred, Burgmüller, Czerny, Beyer, Bach, and Chopin lesson books 2, 140 Finger Exercises (lesson books sold separately)|
|Favorites||16 memories (4 x 4 pages)|
|Transpose||Key Transpose: -12~+12 semi-tones, Song Transpose: -12~+12 semi-tones|
|Other Settings & Functions||Sound Settings||Tuning (Sound mode only), Damper Hold (Sound mode only), Tone Control (incl. User), Speaker Volume, Line In Level, Wall EQ, SHS Mode, Phones Type, Phones Volume, LCD contrast, factory reset, MIDI setting, Bluetooth setting|
|Settings||Bluetooth MIDI, Bluetooth Audio, Bluetooth Audio Volume, Rename File, Delete File, USB Format, MIDI Channel, Send PGM, Local Control, Transmit PGM# On/Off, Multi-timbral Mode, Channel Mute, LCD Contrast, Auto Display Off, Auto Power Off, Factory Reset|
|Display||5” LCD touchscreen (480 x 800 pixels)|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth (Ver. 4.1; GATT compatible). Bluetooth Low Energy MIDI Specification compliant, Bluetooth Audio|
|Jacks||LINE IN (1/8” STEREO), LINE IN Level, LINE OUT (1/4” L/MONO, R), Headphones x 2 (1/4”, 1/8”), MIDI (IN/OUT), USB to Host, USB to Device|
|Pedals||Damper (with half-pedal support), Soft, Sostenuto 20 W|
More information can be found on the Kawai website.
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